Professional Development of the Somaliland Civil Service Introductione
December 22, 2018 - Written by admin


  • In a democracy such as Somaliland, the government comprises ; the legislation ( two Houses of
    Parliament ), the Executive ( the President and his cabinet of ministers ), and the Judiciary in charge
    of intrepretation of the law- the rule of law. Public administration is often considered as the fourth
    branch of government since it is one of the largest sectors of a modern government. Administration
    is the implementation of public policies.
    In general, public administration or public service ( or bureaucracy ) consists of local government
    bodies, security and armed forces, public corporations and the civil service. This article will be
    confined to consider the rôle of the civil service which is the most prominent among the public
    In most modern states, the civil services is a special profession in which highly trained
    administrative and executive officials are employed in ministries and diplomatic service to provide
    administrative support for the operation of the government machinery. The rôle of the civil service
    is all the more important to promote social, economic and political development of a country. It is
    established to carry out government policies and programs and provide services including
    education, healthcare, water, roads and bridges, electricity and other vital infrastructures to the
    Some of the most important functions of the civil services also include ; to advise government
    ministers on policy formulation of government policy and being responsible at the same time for
    such policy implementation. The civil services should always maintain an impartial and nonpolitical
    attitude towards the general public and give priority to the common good and national interests of
    the country.
    Civil Service Principles
    Generaly speaking, the civil service is established on certain principles including, among other
    things, a system of hierarchy and seniority, and division of labour. In its hierarchical structure,
    offices are graded and ranked in which the executive or minister, together with senior officials, is
    entrusted with the responsibility to oversee the work and personnel structure of each ministry. In
  • division of labour, each official is held responsible for a certain area and has to work according to
    rules and regulations of the administration that outline his duty and responsibilities. Officials
    should have skilled training that prepares them for their jobs. Furthemore appointments should be
    made on the basis of standards of merit and personnel requirements of the civil service.
    Tenure of office is another important principle which is to offer civil servants long term services
    despite government and leadership changes. Tenure of office is vital for the confidence and job
    security of the civil servants, the continuity and stability of the administration and general
    development of the country. The application of such administarative principles has many
    advantages and could lead to the future development of professional and permanent career civil
    service system which is more efficient and capable in the achievement of Somaliland’s nationl
    Administrative Reconstruction
    In the past, following its independence in 1960,Somaliland had inherited from Great Britain a
    prestigious civil service ; consisting of a cadre of civil servants who had been trained for high posts
    under British rule. It had played a significant rôle in Somaliland’s indepedence. However, in the
    course of its union with Somalia, the Somaliland civil service system was, unfortunately abolished.
    In addition, as result of the long political strife and civi war ( 1981-1991 ) between Somaliland and
    Somalia, all government administrative institutions weakened and eventually collapsed.
    Despite these difficulties Somaliland was successful in rebuilding its administrative services. It was
    wise, subsequently after 1991, for the government to re-establish the public service. Both the
    Ministry of Labout and the Civil Service Training Institute in Hargeisa played a vital role in the
    reconstruction of the Somaliland administration. The Ministry of Labour and the Training Institute
    under the present leadership of Marwo Hinda Hersi Qani and Mudane Shermarke Gaelle
    respectively and its former managers have done excellent work in these institutions.
    However, despite such achievements, there are still administrative weaknesses that could be
    corrected by reorganization and regrouping of present separate forms of administration and
    recruitment methods of the ministries . Standards of merit and personnel requirements of the
    government should have priority to ensure against political favourism and pressures and to
    strengthen skills in the civil service.
  • Creation of Ministry for the Civil Service
    At this juncture, when Somaliland plans to achieve social and economic development, it’s practical
    to set up, like many other countries, a ministry for the civil service. The administrative structure of
    the government should be reconsidered and tailored towards development administration ; to
    effectively use human and material resources to achieve national goals of the country. These tasks
    of development should be carried out efficiently by such ministry. Periodic reviews and evaluation
    will enhance the adminstrative and management capacity of the civil service and other institutions.
    This ministry’s responsibilities will also include, among other things, to promote efficiency,
    accountability and integrity in the public services, to advise government on criteria for employment
    to public offices and policy formulation within the service as well as to adopt rules and
    regulations.It will be responsible for promotions, transfers, conditions of service of staff and
    disciplinary matters ( with the right of appeal for civil servants where there is an abuse of power ). It
    would be responsible, in addition, to rewrite the administrative laws of the country, civil service
    law and code of conduct for all public servants. Such ministry will replace the old civil service
    commission which is out of order now.
    Equally, the training Institute should be strengthened by seconding more senior experts to provide
    extensive and intensive training programs not only to middle level officials but also to the senior
    public service. A modern and professional administration in which investment is made,will expand
    opportunities and attract qualified candidates from inside and outside the country. It’s acknowledged
    thatn no country withour a modern civil service will make much progress.
    During his recent successful tour to the eastern provinces of the country at the end of November,
    2018 , in which the people of Somaliland received him very warmly and enthusiastically, the
    president, Musa Behi Abdi, spoke frequently and eloquently about the importance of the rôle of
    institutions in the country and challenges the country faces. In both, at Erigavo University and at
    the Berbera Navay Academy, he emphasized the need to improve the administration and urged
    educational institutions in the country to educate and train the Somaliland youth for future
    management and administrative posts. These should be followed and made a government policy.
    Mohamoud Abdi Daar
    • Somaliland Representative in the EU. Dec.20, 2018
      Copyright© Mohamoud A. Daar, 2018

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